Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities. (Psalm 130:1-8 ESV)
This passage reminds me of Jesus’ answer to Peter’s question:
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Mt 18:21-22)
There is no limit to God’s forgiveness of us. He gives us “plentiful redemption.” He does not mark iniquities. This begins to have impact when we think about how often we do mark iniquities. We are ready, like Peter, to limit the number of times we will forgive. We often adopt the “three strikes and you’re out!” mentality when it comes to forgiveness. We’re stingy. What would it take to forgive endlessly? We are not asked to forgive endlessly, but required. The Lord can make such a demand because this psalm is true. God’s redemption of us is plentiful. It is without end and as such, it fills us forever with hope and the fuel to extend this forgiveness to others. The degree we forgive others reflects the degree of God’s forgiveness of us we are willing to accept. Anytime we put limits on that, we’re saying that there is some level of performance that we must supply before the Lord to be a Christian. That cancels out the gospel itself. We can put no limits on God’s forgiveness of us, and thus we can put no limits on our forgiveness of others, no matter the cost. God is always able to provide what we need to absorb that cost.
Chronological Reading Plan plus Psalms: Ps 121, 123, 124, 125, 128, 129, 130